Picks and Pans Review: Togethering
Kenny Burrell and Grover Washington Jr.
One of the joys of the resurrection of the Blue Note jazz label is the prospect of more collaborations like this one. Even those people who find Washington's popular solo-saxophone albums too bland and unchallenging don't question his sense of melody and tone. This LP lets him unleash those talents with a passionate vengeance. Burrell, who at 53 is 12 years older than Washington, proves an ideal partner for him; his quiet, precise guitar style complementing Washington's flamboyant, fluid solos. Backed by percussionists Jack de Johnette and Ralph MacDonald and bassist Ron Carter, Burrell and Washington range across moods, from Burrell's tune Asphalt Canyon Blues to the lightly swinging Duke Ellington-Frankie Laine song What Am I Here For? and Richard Evans' jaunty Soulero. There are few more enjoyable moments in jazz than when two imaginative soloists mix and match with each other's moods, and this album is full of such moments. (Blue Note)
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